New York Rangers president John Davidson had a Zoom call with reporters on Thursday afternoon to talk about the state of the Blueshirts with the club anxiously awaiting the start of phase 2.
Davidson has come a long way since being hired as the team president last year. Along with general manager Jeff Gorton, the organization made some great acquisitions last summer to get the team back to the playoffs this year for the first time since 2017.
The Zoom call highlights today was Twittered by Mollie Walker of the New York Post. Davidson always draws the attention of anyone listening whether it was when he was an MSG broadcaster or standing in front of a podium.
He was willing to discuss what the club has been doing over the past two weeks or so to keep track of his players.
J.D. advised that the training staff has been in contact with all of the players. Head coach David Quinn hs also been in touch with each player on the team and the one player that was playing overseas when the shut down began back on Mar. 12, Lias Andersson.
Andersson had a difficult season beginning with tripping over a wire during team introductions at MSG for the home opener, to being demoted to Hartford and then leaving the club which concluded with the Rangers authorizing his return to play in Sweden. Quinn’s contact with him shows the respect and continued interest the club has in him returning to New York.
Davidson also said, “he talked to Lundqvist roughly 10 days ago and he was beginning to skate.” He was unsure if Alexandar Georgiev and Igor Shesterkin were skating, but he knows they were working.
The conversation of Lundqvist playing against the Hurricanes, where he has a 25-5 record since 2011, has been a big topic this week.
Davidson responded, “I know we’ll have the 3 guys here, Georgie, Shesterkin, and Hank. I know Hank has been skating… I think from my point of view, this is going to be a coach’s decision… I think they’re going to watch and see how camp goes”.
Igor Shesterkin was named the number one goalie by Quinn in February. The Qualifying Rounds are a best-of-five series so Quinn has a short leash on whoever starts for the Rangers.
J.D. didn’t know how many players have been skating because some players don’t have private rinks in the areas they have been living during the league’s quarantine period. The team did send slide boards to each player so they could train at home.
An interesting piece of information came out regarding Kaapo Kakko. The Covid-19 pandemic hit people with underlying conditions a lot harder than healthier people. Kakko has diabetes and celiac disease.
This puts him at a higher risk should he contract the virus,
“If he, hypothetically, cannot play, he can’t play. We’re going to take care of him, he’s a big part of us. But we listen to the science, we listen to the medical people, they’re going to tell us what to do,” said Davidson.
Davidson has no further information on the pending suspension of Brendan Lemieux after he had a hearing with the Player Safety Department. The hard-hitting forward received a two-minute penalty after hitting Colorados Joonas Donskoi on Mar. 12 in a 3-2 OT loss.
The Rangers have plenty of work ahead of them. Phase three will not start earlier than July 10, at that time a formal training camp will be held. Where it will be held will be decided as more and more states loosen up their restrictions.
For now, he club will keep in contact with the team and continue to listen to the medical experts to help determine when it will be the right time to recall all of their players back to New York.
- New York Rangers Qualifying Round game dates announced - July 10, 2020
- MSGN to air all 16 wins during ’94 Stanley Cup Playoffs this weekend - June 17, 2020
- NHL players will not be mandated to wear full shield (Report) - June 17, 2020